Fitbit aims to simplify corporate wellness offerings

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Fitbit’s reorganizing its corporate wellness offerings to employers and insurers with the launch of Fitbit Group Health, which brings the company’s offerings under one umbrella in an attempt to simplify marketing and accessibility.

The announcement came as part of the company’s first annual Fitbit Captivate Summit in San Francisco.

“The Group Health name is a better articulation of the work we’re already doing,” says Amy McDonough, vice president and general manager of Fitbit Group Health. Over the past several years the California-based company has expanded to encompass four categories: corporate wellness, weight management, insurance and health research. It’s also partnered with major wellness vendors such as Virgin Pulse.

With the company’s increased growth also came a diversified client base – McDonough says that, while Fitbit serves more than 70 of the Fortune 500 companies, it also works with small and midsized businesses. And because of their smaller scale, such companies are often able to implement Fitbit’s services faster.

Last week’s announcement also introduced a new data analysis and collection tool called Wellness Insighter, to come out later in 2016. Fitbit’s current dashboard shows aggregate data on employee health, as well as individual data accessed with employee consent to provide rewards for good health habits.

Wellness Insighter will help deploy surveys to companies’ employees and then “analyze this data so they can build a program that is really personalized to their culture,” says McDonough. The contents could vary depending on a company’s values and goals – different places want to measure different aspects of employee health. HR leaders will also be able to compare their program’s effectiveness to peers within the industry.

But data is only half of what employers are looking for in their ongoing search to prove wellness programs’ ROI. Real life examples of wellness program success is becoming increasingly important – such as a team that boosted sales after getting more sleep or an employee who lost 40 pounds.

McDonough says Fitbit has been successful in achieving such results, with engagement rates of more than 80% at some workplaces, because of its focus on easy-to-use wearable devices that can connect to various aspects of users’ lives. Tens of millions of Fitbit devices have already been sold worldwide, meaning an employee likely has friends or family members also using one. This provides personal-life incentives for them to stay engaged with the program.

“The more easy, fun and tied to your social network it is the more you’ll be engaged,” McDonough says.

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